Dixie Cooney and her brother, Will, left their hometown of Pigeon Hollow, West Virginia, and came to Pine Valley in search of their uncle, Pete Cooney. In Pine Valley, Dixie got a job working as a maid for her uncle who had changed his name to Palmer Courtland. When Palmer discovered that his new maid was really his niece, Dixie, he welcomed her and her brother with open arms. Palmer had loved their mother, his sister Bess, and was determined to make up to them for all his years of neglect.
Wanting to be independent, Dixie took a job as the nanny for Laura Cudahy. Laura was the daughter of Brooke English who was married to Adam Chandler. Brooke was unable to have any more children, and Adam seduced Dixie with the hope of finally begetting the son he wanted so badly. When he found out that Dixie was pregnant, he plotted to take the child from her and raise the baby with Brooke. Dixie found a new friend in Tad Martin, who Brooke had hired to discover the identity of the father of Dixie's child. When Brooke learned that Adam was the father she divorced him. Swept off her feet, Dixie married Adam. Wanting only the child, Adam convinced Dixie that she had lost her mind and had her committed to the Laurel Hill mental institute. When Tad discovered Adam's scheme, he rescued Dixie from Laurel Hill and helped her regain custody of her son. Dixie divorced Adam and married her Tad.
Neither Palmer, Dixie's uncle, or Opal, Tad's biological mother were happy about the marriage and set out to break Tad and Dixie up. Palmer paid a woman to say she had slept with Tad; when Dixie heard this, she separated from him. Reeling from the loss of Dixie, Tad fell into bed with his old friend Brooke. When Dixie learned of his tryst with Brooke, she divorced him. Tad and Dixie reunited, however, after he rescued her from Billy Clyde Tuggle. Billy Clyde was obsessed with Dixie, and when she rejected him he kidnapped her. On the day that Tad and Dixie planned to marry for the second time, Tad was lost when he fell from a bridge during a fight with Billy Clyde. Although his body was never recovered, everyone assumed he had died. Dixie was heartbroken by Tad's death.
In her grief Dixie became involved with an old friend of Tad's, Craig Lawson. Dixie and Craig were married for short time. She divorced him when she discovered that he was a fortune hunter and was also having an affair with his Gloria Marsh. Dixie then became involved with a younger man, Brian Bodine. That marriage ended when it Tad returned from the dead. Along with Tad's return, Ted Orsini, an exact mirror image of Tad arrived in Pine Valley as well. Ted wanted Dixie for himself, and tried to kill Tad on hunting trip they took together. Suspicious, Dixie trailed along behind them and was able to save Tad. Ted disappeared, never to be seen again.
Instead of reuniting with Dixie, Tad married Brooke English, who had given birth to his son Jamie during his absence. To regain some perspective, Dixie began taking some courses at Pine Valley University, where she became friendly with Jason Sheffield. Jason became obsessed with Dixie. Tad divorced Brooke because they both realized he still loved Dixie. After they married again, Tad started a job at the local TV station. Their marriage hit a snag when Liza Colby, an old lover of Tad's became his boss at the station. Giving into temptation, Tad and Liza slept together. When Dixie found out she divorced Tad, left Pine Valley with son Junior and moved back to Pigeon Hollow. In Pigeon Hollow Dixie began teaching and became engaged to Jonas.
In July 1998, Dixie was forced to return to Pine Valley when Adam got a temporary order for custody of Adam Junior. Adam and his family had been threatened, and Dixie agreed to bring Adam Jr. back to Pine Valley.
It wasn't' long before Tad and Dixie rekindled their feelings for each other. On a trip together to New York City, Tad and Dixie confronted their feelings and decided to see if they were ready to fully commit to each other. They agreed to meet at the Statler Building if they both ready to resume a life together. On her way to meet Tad Dixie's kidney failed, and she was too sick to meet him. Near death Dixie called out for Tad, but her Uncle Palmer kept the news from Tad. Although Dixie recovered, her heart was weakened. Not wanting to worry Tad, she kept her illness to herself. When Tad finally discovered the truth, he proposed to Dixie and she accepted him. They made plans for another marriage.
Dixie had been told she could never carry another child to term due to her health problems. Besides her heart condition, she also now had only one kidney. When her brother Del was ill, she had donated one of her kidneys to him. When she inadvertently became pregnant with Tad's child Dixie was overwhelmed with joy, As her doctors had predicted however, Dixie miscarried.
With J.R. in school, and Tad working at Chandler Enterprises, Dixie decided to return to work. At David Hayward's urging, Dixie took a position as an administrative assistant in The Andrassy Foundation. David and Dixie worked long hours together, and a mutual attraction began to build. One night David kissed her, and Dixie returned the kiss with equal fervor. David's lack of ethics bothered Dixie. In particular, she disagreed with him about keeping Dimitri Marick's medical condition a secret from his family. When Dixie told Alexandra Marick the truth, David was furious. That, along with David's dislike of the Martin family caused Dixie to quit her job with the Andrassy Foundation.
Dixie and Tad marriage began to disintegrate when she discovered that Tad had tried to use Leslie Coulson to help get David Hayward out of their lives.
In January 2002, Dixie quietly flew to the Caribbean and got a divorce from Tad. When Tad learned of it, he demanded that he be allowed to go back to the islands with her and finalize the divorce properly. While there, Dixie nearly died from her heart condition. David Hayward was flown to the island and healed Dixie using an experimental therapy that he'd developed. Dixie and Tad returned to Pine Valley. Although they were getting along quite well, Dixie was keeping a secret from Tad: she was pregnant. Rather than ending the pregnancy to spare her own life, Dixie arranged to stay at a clinic in Switzerland where she could have her baby under close guidance. Dixie's disappearance from Pine Valley caused Tad and J.R. a great deal of concern. While Dixie kept in contact with J.R. and even David Hayward, she shunned Tad completely. Tad made it his mission to find Dixie, but his searched were unsuccessful.
Dixie broke her silence after the successful completion of her third trimester. Dixie sent a letter to Tad telling him that she was pregnant and carrying his daughter. A jubilant Tad made plans to reunite with Dixie, who made it clear that she wanted to return home to be with Tad. As Tad boarded a plane bound for Zurich, Opal received a call that would change everyone's lives forever: Dixie had been killed in an automobile accident. The severity of the accident -- her car had gone out of control and over a cliff -- left no trace of Dixie's body.
Dixie was revealed to be alive and well in December of 2005. She had been living in a private clinic, but after a visit from her half-sister, Di, she decided to return to Pine Valley. She narrowly managed to avoid detection at Erica Kane's masquerade ball, only to be flushed out by Zach Slater a few days later at the cemetery. Zach agreed to keep her secret, but Dixie moved about Pine Valley, taking a look at her loved ones. While eavesdropping on J.R., drunk when he thought his wife Babe had kidnapped their son, Dixie ended up shot in the arm by J.R. Zach took care of her at the casino while her wound healed. The next person she saw was David Hayward, thrilled to see her back. Dixie went to Pine Valley Hospital to confront Dr. Greg Madden the fertility expert. He was the man who had taken Dixie's daughter four years earlier when she thought she was dying. Only Greg Madden knew where her daughter, Kate was, and he refused to tell her.
Dixie decided to leave Pine Valley without J.R. or Tad ever learning she was alive. After an angry confrontation with Tad, Adam drugged Dixie and tried to ship her out of the country. Discovered by Josh Madden, she and Josh were found by J.R. at the casino. J.R. was shocked to see his mother alive, and he couldn't understand how she could have kept the truth from him. No-one, but especially Tad and J.R. could accept Dixie's reasons for letting them think she was dead. Dixie explained that she couldn't bear to come home without her daughter, but when they found that she had given Kate up for adoption, their anger only increased. When they found out that Greg Madden had been the one to take the child, and he refused to tell anyone where Kate was, Tad and J.R. began to forgive Dixie. Dixie's family and friends wanted to help her and Tad find their child.
Dixie's only real friend after her return to Pine Valley was Zach Slater. He supported her search for Kate and didn't pass judgment on what she had done in the past. Dixie began falling for him, but Zach made it clear that the only woman he loved was his wife, Kendall. During their investigation of Greg Madden, they discovered that the famous fertility doctor had impregnated many of his clients with his own sperm. They also discovered that he had stolen a fetus from Erica Kane and implanted it in his own wife. No matter what they did, Greg would not tell them where her daughter was.
Greg Madden was kidnapped and buried alive in an attempt to find out where Kate was. When he died in his grave during a freak earthquake, Zach and Dixie were arrested for murder. On the witness stand, Tad perjured himself, and got them acquitted. As angry as had been with Dixie, he still loved her. Tad had been tortured by not knowing where his daughter was, and it was he who had kidnapped Greg Madden. He was distraught over what he had done, but during a conversation with Dixie, he finally started to forgive himself. He and Dixie decided to look for Kate together.
David Hayward was furious with Dixie for rejecting him. Before leaving Pine Valley, he had forged a DNA test that said that Emma McDermott, the daughter of a new resident of Pine Valley was really Tad and Dixie's daughter Kate. When that lie was exposed, Tad and Dixie feared they would never find their daughter. Dixie knew that Krystal, Adam's wife was pregnant with Tad's child. She wanted to tell Tad, but decided to keep quiet about it for now. Dixie had finally reconciled with her family, and she moved in with J.R. at the Chandler Mansion to spend more time with him and her grandson.
When a serial killer began targeting the women of Fusion, J.R.'s wife Babe was one of his targets. Dixie ate poisoned pancakes that were meant for Babe and collapsed. She died at Pine Valley Hospital, but not before telling J.R. that Krystal was carrying Tad's child, and her last wish was that he would tell Tad the truth. As he spirit left Pine Valley, she saw her daughter for the first time since her birth. Kathy, a young orphan being cared for by Julia Santos was really Kate. Dixie's spirit waved to Kathy, and Kathy waved back.
Not long after Dixie's death, the Satin Slayer struck again, this time bringing down J.R.'s wife, Babe. She was pronounced dead at Pine Valley Hospital. A double funeral was held for both Dixie and Babe. J.R. and Tad were shattered by their loss, but resolved to stand by each other and find the person who had taken so much from them both. Babe was later revealed to be alive. She had staged her death to help capture the Satin Slayer who turned out to be Alexander Cambias, Zach Slater's father. Alexander confessed to the murders of the other women but he claimed he had not killed Dixie.
Dixie's family and friends continued to mourn her years after her presumed death and she appeared as a vision occasionally during trying times in their lives.
In May of 2011, Dixie found herself very much alive and trapped inside a mental institution. She involuntarily received medical treatments from David Hayward and her memories were unclear. Dixie started to remember bits of her life and eventually escaped from where she was being held. She was unable to communicate who she was and was mistaken for a homeless person. A police officer had her admitted to Oak Haven.
Erica Kane was also a patient at Oak Haven when Dixie was admitted and she helped Dixie start to piece together what had happened to her. Oak Haven burned down and she escaped with Erica. Dixie started to slowly speak and repeatedly mentioned David and a fear of hospitals but could not clearly describe what had happened. She did remember Tad when she ran in to him in the park.
Tad was stunned to find Dixie at the park and she slowly regained her ability to speak, although she did not want to talk about David or what had happened to her. Tad introduced Dixie to her daughter Kathy and she was overjoyed to be reunited with the daughter she had spent years searching for. Tad also introduced Dixie to his wife Cara. Dixie understood that Tad had moved on in her absence and she moved in with J.R. She wanted to give Tad and Cara space as well as care for J.R. as he battled his alcohol addiction.
J.R. was reluctant to trust Dixie and accused her of purposely staying away from her family. She admitted she had hid from her family in the past but this time she was kept away because of David although she could not remember what happened. Dixie assured J.R. that she was around for good and vowed to remain by J.R.'s side while he fought for custody of his son.
Tad also agreed to stand by J.R. and Dixie thanked him for his support and for all he had done for J.R. when she had not been around to care for him. Tad professed his love for Dixie and proclaimed she was the only woman he had ever truly loved and Dixie returned his proclamation of love after Tad revealed the truth behind his marriage. Cara faced danger if she left the country. Tad had married his brother's ex-wife Cara so she was granted a green card. Dixie was proud of Tad for protecting Cara and agreed to set aside a romantic relationship with him until he could safely divorce Cara.
Although Dixie and Tad were willing to wait to resume their relationship until Cara's immigration problems were over, a patient of Cara's at the hospital was able to secure a green card for her. Dixie decided to honor her past with Tad and make plans for their future by donning a chicken costume to commemorate the first time Tad proposed to her years ago. After the date, Tad took a turn in the itchy costume and asked Dixie to move in with him and she accepted.
Tad also invited J.R. to move in with him and both Tad and Dixie continued to work with J.R. to turn his life around. He was still drinking and had been removed from his position at Chandler Enterprises. In addition, he was still seeking custody of his son and his home was in foreclosure. J.R. was temporarily banned from seeing his son but Dixie arranged for the two of them to spend a little time together. J.R. planned to seize the opportunity to run off with his child but Dixie stopped him. She told J.R. there was another patient at David's facility and she believed the patient might be Babe.
Dixie and Tad continued to worry about J.R. but they also discussed the future they planned to share together. Dixie claimed it was her turn this time and she proposed to Tad and he accepted. Tad's family cheered in the background after hearing the proposal which had accidentally been broadcast on Tad's cell phone.
Dixie shared the news of her engagement with J.R. and he congratulated her but told her that not everyone gets a happy ending. J.R. explained that Babe was not alive and that he needed to leave town for awhile to get his life in order. Dixie provided J.R. with the chance to say good-bye to his son. After J.R. left, Dixie received word that Stuart Chandler, J.R.'s uncle, was alive. Stuart had also been a patient of David's and received the Project Orpheus experimental treatment.
Dixie and Tad tracked J.R. down at the airport and shared the good news about Stuart with him but he refused to believe them. He thought it was a ploy to keep him in town. Tad and Dixie left the airport without J.R. and attended a party hosted by Adam Chandler. It was a party to welcome home Stuart and many Pine Valley residents attended. David made a brief appearance at the party and Dixie demanded to know who the other mystery patient was that she had seen. He refused to comment and Dixie rejoined the festivities. Tad made several toasts celebrating the love of family, friends, and neighbors in Pine Valley. Both Dixie and Tad continued celebrating at the Chandler mansion as a shot rang out.